Research

Articles, tools, and commentary on carbon
removal and climate solutions.
Highlights
Mar 16 2022
Mapping seaweed farming potential
Interest in farming seaweed for carbon removal is ramping up. We collaborated with a research team to build an interactive tool for mapping seaweed farming potential, and wrote an explainer summarizing the results.
Map toolExplainer article

Jan 31 2022
There's growing interest in methods to value temporary carbon storage. In two recent pieces, we explain a practice called ton-year accounting, and raise concerns about how it's being used in practice.

Tools
Seaweed Farming
Mapping the costs and climate benefits of farming seaweed.
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Articles
Apr 07 2022
Zombies on the blockchain
We analyzed the flow of carbon offset credits from conventional registries to the blockchain. Our work shows that nearly all of these credits have been excluded from conventional markets.
We analyzed the flow of carbon offset credits from conventional registries to the blockchain. Our work shows that nearly all of these credits have been excluded from conventional markets.
Mar 30 2022
Fire, forests, and greenhouse gas inventories in California
Should policymakers track net greenhouse gas emissions across the energy and lands sectors, and if so, how? We explored the complex choices required to account for forests and power plants in the same emissions inventory.
Should policymakers track net greenhouse gas emissions across the energy and lands sectors, and if so, how? We explored the complex choices required to account for forests and power plants in the same emissions inventory.
Mar 16 2022
Mapping seaweed farming potential
We developed an interactive tool for mapping the potential of seaweed farming for carbon removal and biomass products. Read this article, explore the interactive map, or read the associated preprints to learn more.
We developed an interactive tool for mapping the potential of seaweed farming for carbon removal and biomass products. Read this article, explore the interactive map, or read the associated preprints to learn more.
Jan 31 2022
Unpacking ton-year accounting
Ton-year accounting is used to quantify the value of temporary carbon storage — a task for which we lack a clear intellectual framework. We explain how ton-year accounting methods work and highlight crucial differences between prominent ton-year accounting methods.
Ton-year accounting is used to quantify the value of temporary carbon storage — a task for which we lack a clear intellectual framework. We explain how ton-year accounting methods work and highlight crucial differences between prominent ton-year accounting methods.
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Publications
May 11 2022
Ecology Letters
Future climate risks from stress, insects and fire across US forests
A paper quantifying the key climate drivers that fuel risks to forests in the United States from wildfire, drought, and insects, and projecting those risks over the 21st century.
Mar 31 2022
The Journal of Ocean Technology
Ocean solutions in the carbon market
A short article outlining the challenges of incorporating ocean-based CDR into carbon markets and the need for those who know the science to track claims carefully and help others do the same.
Apr 29 2022
bioRxiv
California’s forest carbon offsets buffer pool is severely undercapitalized
A preprint analyzing the design of California’s forest carbon offset insurance program shows that the state has not adequately addressed the risks of wildfire and sudden oak death.
Feb 12 2022
EarthArXiv
A paper using coupled seaweed growth and technoeconomic models to better understand the potential role of seaweed farming for carbon removal and biomass products.
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Comment letters
May 09 2022
Comments to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on digital assets
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a request for information on the energy and climate implications of blockchain technologies. We wrote to share our analysis of the pipeline of offset credits that have migrated "on chain" from Verra, via Toucan Protocol.
Apr 21 2022
NCX has developed a methodology for crediting short-term forest harvest delays using Verra's ton-year accounting option. Our comments reiterate the concern that ton-year accounting is inconsistent with net-zero goals. We also explain why the methodology fails to protect against the unique additionality risks introduced by ton-year accounting.
May 02 2022
Comments to the European Commission on certifying carbon removal
The European Commission is proposing to develop rules to certify carbon removal. Our comments recommend the Commission develop independent standards that exceed current market practices. We include a list of relevant research papers to inform the Commission's deliberations.
Apr 08 2022
Comments to Verra on the proposed updates to the VCS Program
Verra has proposed adopting ton-year accounting to credit temporary carbon storage. Our comments raise concerns that ton-year accounting is inconsistent with net-zero goals and long-term temperature targets. The proposed changes also raise unique additionality challenges which must be addressed.
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